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Once More to Singapore

A few tips for long-haul travelers of a certain age


This is what happens when you let your kids play with maps: Globetrotting becomes normal. In a few days, I leave for Singapore. I mean what’s a Grandma to do if her grandson needs a sitter during his school break while parents, anthropology professors, are still working? Already my little guy has visited eighteen countries and three continents and speaks three languages. He’s only 7. Lucky for me, this savvy little urbanite, knows the subway routes well enough to take me places.

When I visited Singapore last year, I feared falling. A spill on flat pavement earlier in the year dented my confidence. Before I reined in my spooked imagination, I pictured myself falling during my layover in Seoul, Korea, and hitting my head! Becoming unconscious! Being robbed! Having no identity! Oy! – -- I tumbled down a rabbit hole of catastrophe; however, many potential crises can be prevented. Instead of succumbing to fear, I researched Seoul Airport and learned about the rest area, complete with beds, dim light, and a view through a glass wall of restful pine trees. Nothing like a toes-up to refresh spirit, mind, and body. My most reliable travel companion? A positive attitude.

Singapore National Orchid Garden

This trip I’m routed through Taipei. For the 14-hour flight from Los Angeles, I’ll swallow my pride and wear Depens® and compression stockings. My nurse friend recommends baby aspirin as a hedge against blood clots. Who needs damp accidents or blood clots? Not me! Besides, no one can tell what I’m wearing under my clothes. If I’m so tired I wobble, I’ll whip out my collapsible cane and toddle on.

To prevent the wobbles in the first place, I stay hydrated. I forego the Pinot Noir for a few days prior to departure and drink water like a camel at an oasis on the plane. It helps. I’ve also learned to carry high protein, high fiber snacks to avoid becoming light-headed due to low blood sugar. An ounce of prevention…

From my past visit, I learned that not only is Singapore hot and humid, but it’s also steep where my family lives. Without a car, they order groceries online or purchase them at a store within walking distance. This means a mile and a half round trip, down 67 stairs and back up 67 stairs, carrying heavy bags. I easily gave up Diet Pepsi and watermelon. Too heavy! To condition myself for my visit, I’ve been hitting the gym four days a week and walking about two miles a day. This “training” improves my stamina in the tropical climate. My short haircut sops up less sweat.

Besides falling, my other bugaboo is forgetting. That’s why I sing this little ditty every time I go out the door (to the tune, “Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” Passport, glasses, keys and phone – keys and phone! Triple check, trust yourself -- and enjoy the journey. ##

Kitty knows what the suitcase means: Mummy is leaving!

Follow my blog to visit Singapore from the comfort of your own home, without the

heat and humidity!

Invitation: Write for 10 minutes

·       How do you prepare for a long journey?

·       If you have never taken a long journey, what’s holding you back?

Photo credits: Stairs by Joshua Tsu on Unsplash.


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